HARTLAND — Molly Seidel's path to the Olympic Marathon could be a movie, from punching her ticket for the games 18 months ago, to the injuries she suffered as an elite level runner.
"When we qualified kind of like two weeks before the entire world shut down, and then over the past year and a half, it's been frankly a wild ride," Molly Seidel says. "A reporter asked us if we were worried that COVID might impact the games, and we all laughed it off because at that point, it was like, it was becoming a thing but it wasn't quite, I don't think anybody quite realized the magnitude of what it was going to be yet."
Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "You ran with a broken pelvis?"
"Yeah, yeah, that was one of the stupider things that I've done. At the time I didn't know. And so that's been a big thing for me is like, I do have a pretty high pain tolerance. And so it's been learning to separate like good pain for running because like, running, you deal with a lot of discomfort. You deal with a lot of pain and separating that from like, injury," Seidel says.
To dealing with life threatening issues.
"I've dealt with OCD since I was a kid, basically," Seidel says. "And then, once I got to college, just the pressure of running. The pressure of keeping a scholarship. And trying to run at that level, it really manifested in a pretty serious eating disorder. So, right after the Olympic Trials in 2016 which I couldn't run because my bones were so weak at that point, that I was just like breaking bones left and right. I went into residential eating disorder treatment outside of Milwaukee. My advice to anybody going through that is like, one, like lean on your family. Lean on your friends. And don't be afraid to reach out. And to like, actual targeted therapy is so, so, so important because it is a huge problem in our sport of running, specifically with women. And I only made the Olympic team after eating disorder treatment. I couldn't have done that, when I was at my worst. And I couldn't have done that, while I was at my skinniest. Just because you deal with something like this, doesn't mean you can't overcome it. And more likely than not, you're going to be a better athlete after overcoming it, then you were in the middle of it."
Now, she will rep Hartland and Wisconsin, with everything she has.
"I'm going to be racing all out out there, just because it's like when you show up for Team USA, you know it's going to be everything," Seidel says.